Gail Harrell Sworn As Mayor ProTem

Article By The Monticello News ~ Kathy Mudd  •  Thu, Jan 16, 2020

The Monticello City Council Tuesday convened for the first time with Gail Harrell serving as Mayor Pro-tem. She was elected last November, and participated in a called meeting last week, but was actually sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting.

City Attorney Joe Reitman swore Mrs. Harrell in before a packed house in City Council chambers.

Mr. Reitman was re-appointed city attorney, while Timothy Young was re-named city manager, Karen Pennamon was re-named city clerk, and Robert Jordan was named city engineer.

The council heard from Chief Magistrate Tim Lam who said that if the city would re-create a city court, then an intergovernmental agreement can be reached with the county, and Magistrate Court could handle the cases. He mentioned zoning, but did not limit it to that. Mayor Bryan Standifer said the city had been talking about it, and would talk about it more, saying the council would have a work session later this month. Mr. Lam said Chief Superior Court Judge William Prior endorses the plan.

The city heard from 911 and EMA Director Betty Jump about the need for the city to sign a mutual aid agreement, as well as the need for new appointments to the 911 board. She said currently Councilman David Wease, Dwayne Miller and Clint Currie represent the city on that board.
She indicated Messrs. Miller and Currie have not made it to meetings recently, and asked if they could be gotten in touch with and either asked to attend meetings, or to step down for someone who can attend. The city took no action at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council agreed to “personnel pay adjustments” they had discussed at last Thursday’s called meeting.

The council approved the repair of playground equipment at West View Park at the cost of $4,785, and the repair of fire protection equipment at a cost of $4,515. The fire equipment cost will come out of Monte Roper’s budget, but the playground equipment repair comes out of contingency. They also agreed to spend $8,500 on a survey to see how much silt is in the city’s reservoir to see if it would be worth the money to have it dredged to increase capacity.

The council set the holiday and meeting schedule for the year, which includes 11 paid holidays for the employees. City Manager Tim Young also told council that the city had purchased a table at the Monticello-Jasper County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner next Tuesday, and for council to let him know who would attend.

Towards the end of the meeting, Mr. Young presented the employees who had reached certain work milestones. They said some were presented in November, and others were presented Tuesday.

During the meeting, Mr. Young said the city needs a new bank account for the Blockstream funds that are coming in. The city is selling its excess electricity, and thus far has received about $30,000 a month for last fall, and $42,000 for December. Mr. Young also said the city had received its Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) monies, and recommended paving Funderburg Drive from the bridge as far as the money would take it.

He also said the water and sewer bond through U.S. Bank was closed, and the city received some $120,000 from that closure.

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